Ahead of the AFL’s Sir Doug Nicholls Indigenous Round, The Inner Sanctum has looked at every club’s Indigenous guernsey and the stories behind the designs.
For the first time in Adelaide’s history, the Club’s AFL, AFLW, and SANFL sides will all wear an Indigenous guernsey with the same design this season.
This year’s design highlights the coming together of the men’s and women’s teams on their reconciliation journey, as well as acknowledging the impact that the many members of the Crows family have left on the Club since 1991.
The guernsey was designed by Eastern Arrernte man Pat Caruso, whose design agency We Create Print Deliver was named NAIDOC SA 2021 Business of the Year Award.
Designed by Triple Premiership Player and Proud Eastern Arrernte Man, Darryl White, The Lions 2022 Indigenous guernsey is a representation of both Darryl’s heritage, and the rich history of the Brisbane Lions, including the merging of the Brisbane Bears and Fitzroy Lions 25 years ago and a representation of it being 20 years since our triumphant Premiership win in 2002.
The design also includes a special nod to Darryl’s father, who sadly passed away in 2002 and drove from Alice Springs to the MCG for the 2001 Grand Final to support his son and celebrate the win.
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The story being told on Carlton’s Indigenous jumper in 2022 will be that of Shanai Kellett — a Yorta Yorta/Juru descendant who is also the great-granddaughter of Sir Doug Nicholls.
Kellett joined six of Carlton’s players in the surrounds of Princes Park to launch the Club’s guernsey for the 2022 AFL season, telling a tale of reconciliation between the football club and its players.
Her connection with the Blues through this design is particularly poignant given the Club’s relationship with Sir Doug: Carlton held a Sir Doug Nicholls Acknowledgment in 2016 after he was never given the chance to truly flourish in the Navy Blue due to mistreatment before he ultimately joined Fitzroy in the 1930s.
The artwork on the Collingwood jumper was designed by Tyson Austin and Troi Ilsley and tells the story of the club entering a new chapter.
With the appointment of a new president and a new AFL head coach, Collingwood is growing new feathers and entering a new era – shedding the wrongdoings of the past to learn and make way for the next generation to thrive.
It also represents the ongoing collaboration between the club and the Aboriginal community as Collingwood embarks on this new chapter.
Designed by star forward Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti, the guernsey incorporates the Bombers’ past and present First Nations players while depicting a journey through different terrains to finish at a central meeting place – the NEC Hangar.
The feet that walk along the sash reflect the past First Nations players who have represented the club as they head towards the Essendon family, including players, coaches, and staff at the circle in the centre.
The words ‘Faith, Freedom, and Family’ are included on the guernsey’s inside – three key pillars in McDonald-Tipungwuti’s life.
Peter Farmer Designs was approached by Michael Walters regarding the club requesting him to tell his story in the Indigenous Guernsey design for 2022.
Michael decided early that the feathers that would represent his totems were a good way of symbolising his daughters and their significance to his journey.
He also decided that they would have to be close to his heart and they have been placed in a way that also gives the Chevron V’s a significant place in the designs.
Walters’ strong connections with both South Australia and Western Australia, have made him think about the other states and the many supporters of the Fremantle Football Club there are in the whole country.
Designed by Corrina Eccles, a Wadawurrung Woman, the guernsey represents a local story and incorporates several meaningful landmarks across the Barwon region.
The guernsey tells the story of Wadawurrung country, the story of Djilang, and takes people back to what the country was like prior to how we see the built environment today.
The guernsey was created in a legacy of the recent tragic loss of two lives connected to Corrina and the community, and Bunjil the eagle is placed on the guernsey in their honour.
The back of the guernsey also features ‘Djilang’, the Wadawurrung word for Geelong. Djilang represents the language of the land.
Gold Coast Suns
This year’s design for the Gold Coast Suns has been collaboratively developed by Yugambeh artist Luther Cora from the Gold Coast, and Larrakia artist Trent Lee from Darwin.
The guernsey features two distinct animals representing the regions they are native to; a crocodile to signify the Northern Territory and an eagle to denote the Gold Coast.
It also has special significance, representing the meeting place for everyone, connecting people together, and embracing people from all cultures and backgrounds.
As has been a consistent theme in previous Indigenous guernseys, the names of Indigenous SUNS players past and present are included on the back of the guernsey.
Greater Western Sydney Giants
Peter Whitton is a proud Wiradjuri man who lives in Western Sydney, he was tasked with designing the GWS GIANTS Indigenous guernsey this year.
The GIANTS 2022 AFL Indigenous jumper design is called ‘Together We Stand’ and represents all those within the GIANTS family – the club, players, staff, members, fans, and Indigenous culture – coming together to stand tall.
Within the ‘G’ in the centre of the design are two meeting places, apart but connected, representing GIANTS Stadium and Manuka Oval. The meeting places represent Western Sydney and the ACT, separated by kilometres but equally homes for the club, representing the connection of the GIANTS’ communities.
For the club’s 2022 Indigenous Guernsey, Hawthorn has collaborated with popular Indigenous Australian art business, Miimi & Jiinda, founded by Aboriginal mother and daughter Lauren Jarrett and Melissa Greenwood.
This specially created painting depicts the core values, ethos, and heart of the Hawthorn Football Club community. It shows everyone coming together as one and has all the elements of the Australian landscape including land, sea, waterways, flora, fauna, sun, moon, and stars.
The front of our guernsey tells the story of the Hawthorn community coming together from different homes and tribes across our country. We see the journey of all the families travelling under the sun or the stars to gather in a central meeting place.
Mother Earth features at the bottom to show that we are all born from the same place despite coming from all walks of life. This is represented by the different watering holes in the background.
The back of our guernsey is reflective of giving back to the community, which is the very backbone of Hawthorn.
The circle representing family sits on the inside neck of our guernsey. It’s located on the highest point of the guernsey, which speaks to family being the highest priority, sitting above all else.
Narrm is at the heart of Melbourne’s 2022 Indigenous guernsey.
Paying respect to the region the club calls home, this year’s design tells a story of Wurundjeri culture, with references to the community, connection, and everlasting spirit.
The guernsey, which was designed by Wurundjeri/Dja Dja Wurrung artist Ky-ya Nicholson Ward and produced by New Balance, will proudly be worn during the 2022 AFL Sir Doug Nicholls Round, as well as next season’s AFLW Indigenous Round.
It will mark the first time in the club’s history that both the men’s and women’s teams have pulled on the same design for their respective Indigenous Round celebrations when the dees will take on the name of Narrm Football Club.
North Melbourne Kangaroos
Designed by Wurundjeri/Dja Dja Wurrung artist Ky-ya Nicholson Ward, the guernsey will be worn by both the club’s men’s and women’s teams for the first time in history.
The North Melbourne Kangaroos have officially launched the club’s 2022 Indigenous guernsey, ‘Marram’. Marram is the word for kangaroo in the Woiwurrung language which is spoken by the Wurundjeri people.
The design serves to honour the kangaroo, an animal that only physically moves forward. This symbolises the club moving forward in a positive way and into the future.
Port Adelaide Power
Designed by defender Lachie Jones with assistance from his aunty Madeliene Dirdi, the guernsey celebrates his journey to discovering more about his Aboriginal heritage and the life and legacy of his grandmother.
The guernsey’s centerpiece is a Brolga – the totem of the Yanyuwa people of Jones’ grandmother’s country at Borroloola, in Arnhem Land, south-east of Darwin.
The footprints and the lines and circles around the V on the front of the guernsey represent his Nanna’s journey as a member of the “Stolen Generation” from Borroloola to Bute on the Yorke Peninsula, while the teal symbols represent the people who helped along the way.
On the back, the Brolga in a meeting place represents his Nanna’s final resting place at Bute.
Marlion Pickett together with his partner Jessica Nannup have designed Richmond’s 2022 Dreamtime guernsey, to be worn against Essendon for the return of Dreamtime at the ‘G.
The story represents Marlion, Jessica, and their young family moving from Perth to Melbourne for the start of their Richmond journey and pays tribute to each Indigenous player at the Club.
Marlion’s family totem, The Kaarak, a red-tailed black cockatoo is represented as flying on the design, to signify the families’ move across Australia.
The players are illustrated as warriors at the bottom of the jumper and their different journeys to Richmond from all around Australia are displayed in the yellow sash, highlighting the football club as a central place where each can connect, share stories, and play football.
St Kilda Saints
The Saints will wear a guernsey designed by club legend Nicky Winmar, retaining the same artwork as last season.
Winmar’s guernsey, which features traditional Indigenous splatter painting techniques, is inspired by his family, his heritage, and his love of the Saints.
On the front are two Willy Wagtails, Winmar’s family totem, alongside a silhouette of his iconic pose from his immortal stand.
An outline of Winmar’s hands is on the back of the guernsey to represent teamwork and symbolise how he will always have the Saints’ back.
The Sydney Swans players are set to don a new Marn Grook guernsey this year, which has been designed by GO Foundation scholar, Artist Lua Pellegrini.
The artwork on the guernsey is titled Duguwaybul Yindyamangidyal which means altogether respectfully: respect, gentleness, politeness, honour, careful, altogether as one. It represents connectedness, depicting the story of the 19 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men who have played for the Sydney Swans, both in the past and the present.
The 19 Swans players are represented on the guernsey through 19 circles, with each circle representing the importance of the people who support the players, including their own families and communities.
West Coast Eagles
The West Coast Eagles have had their guernsey designed by Indigenous artist Darryl Bellotti. Darryl is a relative of former West Coast Eagle, Laurie Bellotti, who played 24 games for the club across two seasons (1999-2000).
The Guernsey features the Rainbow Serpent or Waugul as it travels the land and watches over the West Coast Eagles’ journey to the Grand Final at the MCG. The Waugal is the Creator Spirit and in the Dreaming only Spirit beings inhabited the land.
The white circles and lines represent the journey of the club, and the yellow lines represent the Interconnecting pathways and songlines throughout the land. The blue patterns represent the land being pushed aside as the Waugul travels.
The Western Bulldogs will once again wear the Indigenous guernsey designed by former player Lindsay Gilbee for this year’s Sir Doug Nicholls Round 10 match against Gold Coast.
It will mark the first time the guernsey is worn in front of fans, with the Bulldogs’ 2021 Indigenous round match against Melbourne played in an empty Marvel Stadium due to Victorian lockdown restrictions at the time.
The design features reflections of Gilbee’s family history and the Boandik people of Mt Gambier, with Gilbee working closely with renowned Aboriginal artist Nathan Patterson to help translate aspects of his story.
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